Seborrhoeic Dermatitis: Severe form of Dandruff
Seborrheic dermatitis is a common cause of stubborn dandruff and occurs in all age groups. The condition usually affects the face and the scalp, where it causes flaking of the skin. It may be infective or inflammatory in origin and outbreaks may also be triggered by hormonal imbalances, stress, or illnesses.
Dandruff is a scaly disorder of the scalp. It is extremely common, yet comparatively harmless, except for its role in hair loss and acne (pimples). In adolescents and adults, the disorder is called ‘dandruff.’ In babies, dandruff is called ‘cradle cap.’ When it is in extreme state, it is called as “Seborrhoeic Dermatitis’.
Dandruff affects 40 per cent of the human population, worldwide.
Dandruff may not be a disease per se. It is also not life-threatening, or the basis for extreme anguish, yet the itchy white, scaly flakes that it presents which is not only annoying, but also emotionally distressing.
What is Seborrhoeic Dermatitis?
Most of us have heard of the word, dermis. The dermis is the tough layer of connective tissue which is about 2-3 mm thick and provides strength to the skin. It contains sebaceous (oil) and sweat glands.
The sebaceous glands generate an oily substance. It creates a ‘wad’ of wax (sebum) to cover the opening of the growing hair follicle on the scalp. Sebum acts as a lubricant, giving hair its wax-like shine, or lustre.
From the functional perspective, the sebum protects the hair shaft. It is a carrier of odours (pheromones) involved in sexual and social attraction. This is also how a newborn child recognises the mother’s odour.
Too much of a good thing is sometimes not good. Excess sebum leads to unpleasant cosmetic and aesthetic effects, as also specific disorders. One of them is greasy hair. Greasy hair not only looks dull and moist, its thick, flat masses make hair difficult to comb.
When hair is ‘loaded’ with sebum, it gets adhered and flattened on the scalp. The real issue is even after wiping or washing, the sebaceous ‘veneer’ is quickly restored on hair.
This condition is called seborrhoea, derived from the Greek, rheos, meaning river. Most individuals having seborrhoea present with a greasy scalp and a greasy forehead.
Common Signs & Symptoms
- Greasy, scaly and white (or, yellow) flakes that fall from the scalp
- Itching, redness and oozing of the scalp
- You find white flakes on your shirt, or clothing.
Effects of Seborrhoeic Dermatitis
Seborrhoea can have the following effects –
- Dandruff - a cause of hair loss on the scalp
- Darkened hair
- Dull, lustreless hair
- Moist, greasy look - adolescent hair has more sebum
- Stickiness; stuck hair
- Limp, flattened, non-curly hair
- Disorderly locks
- Hair is difficult to comb
- Hairstyles don’t remain in place for long
- Itching of the scalp.
Seborrhoeic Dermatitis has damaging effects on one’s emotions, social life and personal attractiveness, or how others perceive them. One also - man or woman - feels less attracted to someone of the opposite sex with dandruff.
It also affects the way a person dresses up - often avoiding black or darker clothes to keep the unsightly flakes out of view. It is this emotional aspect that the anti-dandruff shampoo industry banks upon heavily – urging you to try out their ‘effective’ shampoos and ‘dare to wear black.’
It affects self-confidence and state of mind, no less. People are often anxious about having dandruff at important events - job interview, courting or marriage, party or during a presentation on the job.
Homeopathy is an excellent treatment option for this condition, at all stages. Homeopathic remedies not only offer symptomatic relief without any side-effects but also treat the root cause of the problem, thereby reducing the possibility of a recurrence.
Furthermore, the results are long-lasting, with a minimal risk of recurrence.
Seborrhoeic dermatitis cases, especially those treated in the early stages, show much better results. However, people at advanced stages of the disorder also respond very well to homeopathic treatment, though that requires time.
To know more about treatment and its benefits, click on: Homeopathy Treatment for Seborrhoeic dermatitis.
- Keep the scalp clean by washing regularly. Use a natural dandruff cleansing shampoo, enriched with the homeopathic Thuja Occidentalis (white cedar), with clinically proven antidandruff properties, every alternate day. It is safe and effective
- Protect your hair from bright sunlight and pollution - keep hair covered while travelling
- Consume 2 tbsp of roasted powdered flaxseeds, everyday. Eat a serving of the probiotic yogurt (dahi) daily, for a healthy scalp
- In sticky dandruff, rinse scalp with sour milk or a mild solution of lemon juice (2 tbsp of lemon juice to 0.5 litre boiled cooled water)
- Dab the homeopathic Calendula cream to itchy areas around hairline. If whole scalp itches, apply flaxseed oil overnight. Sleep on an old pillow, or cloth, and rinse in the morning
- In severe dandruff, wash hair with a shampoo containing Selenium
- Practice relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation, to ease stress.